September 25th 2012, Geneva, Switzerland

Statement delivered by Dr Anna Barchetti Durisch at the United Nations HRC; General Debate on Discrimination, Racism, Xenophobia and related forms of Intolerance. (Watch the video)

“Mr. President,

I would like to talk about love as a response to racism, discrimination and intolerance.

The main reason for discrimination is fear. We are afraid of whatever is different, unknown.

The Durban Declaration is urging to promote a greater knowledge of diverse cultures. Human knowledge is never complete and is ever evolving.
I call for a greater love, for fear is nothing else but lack of love, like darkness is nothing else but lack of light.

It is not a question of equality. Equality cannot be ever achieved, as every individual is different and unique. Let us drop comparisons. We can’t compare orchids to roses.
I call for diversity, and not equality, to be the standard, as the rainbow with its colors expressing the unity in diversity.

It’s not a question of tolerance. Tolerating someone doesn’t mean accepting him unconditionally, but rather expresses our feeling of superiority and humiliates those who have the right to be themselves. I call for unconditional love, going far beyond tolerance.

It is, also, not a question of respect. Respect without love is like an arrow without direction. I call for respect born out of love.

The problem of discrimination is a great lesson of unconditional love for both, those who discriminate and those who are discriminated.

Mr President,

through the education obtained in schools, we become better.

I call for implementing into school curricula an education for life, emphasizing the concept of love and other basic life skills; an education which would make us not only more informed, but also more aware.

It is not possible to eliminate discrimination, but it’s possible to bring in love. It is not possible to eliminate the darkness… Let us bring in the light.

Thank you for your attention.”
Anna Barchetti Durisch, UN